Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Why pay when you can get it for free? I guess that is what some of us will do when it comes to open Internet connection. With many establishments such as offices, restaurants and cafes having open Internet connection, it's not unusual to see more and more people on the lookout for these free-for-all locations. Using that connection for personal use is not something that is that unusual. A lot of people I know do that (this includes yours truly too!). The question is should we or shouldn't we use open wifi connection intended for personal use without permission? This one is definitely up for a debate. Can this be considered as unauthorised computer use since no permission has been granted to us to use somebody's wifi? Can we be charged and if so, for what? If the connection is open, can it be considered as stealing if we use it without permission? Maybe the word 'stealing' sounds a little bit harsh so some people consider their action as 'borrowing'. To some other people, this can be considered as freeloading and freeloaders are definitely not a welcomed lot. Is using other people's Internet connection the same as listening to your neighbour's radio? In some ways it is but in a lot of ways it is not. The invisible signal streaming down our office or home does not really invade our privacy, unlike the blaring music coming from our neighbour's house. Solution : don't leave your wifi open for others to use. The signals are not only confined to your own home but they can also spill to the whole apartment complex, neighbourhood and surrounding areas. Some people are not aware that the bandwidth will be affected if you are downloading movies and videos. The connection will be slowed down when we tap into someone's wifi connection. I don't know whether it is illegal to tap on somebody's open connection but I do know that it is not ethical since no permission is granted. It's like reading the e-mail of a person who has forgotten to log off. One word of caution : Don't start using other people's connection. Once you start, it will be difficult to stop. It's like eating candy. It's hard to stop at one.

p/s This entry was done at home and I definitely did not use the free network connection from the District and Land Office next door to the place where I work.